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LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 6:55 pm
 
Miami Heat forward LeBron James takes criticism from himself and others. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james-face

DALLAS – Following Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ confounding no-show in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the question on everyone’s mind on Wednesday was simple: What the heck happened?

 “[He] checked out,” Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said. Later, he referred to James’ detached passivity as “weird.”

“I just feel like he wasn’t in attack mode,” Stevenson added. “I think when he’s in attack mode, he can put a lot of pressure on us. I don’t know what was happening last night, but me playing against him all these years, that wasn’t himself.”

James wouldn’t bite when asked about Stevenson’s comments.

“DeShawn, he's been talking for a long time, since our Washington‑Cleveland days,” James said. “I don't let that get to us. Those guys are playing well. We're playing well. It's a three‑game series. Talk is cheap. You have to play the game of basketball. Let the scores and the plays define the game. We don't get caught up in that too much.”

While those two exchanged words like they have for years, the rest of the Mavericks were more concerned with pinpointing the reasons for James’ lack of assertiveness on offense and talking up his ability as a playmaker.

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion pointed to Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s ball dominance late as a major contributing factor in James’ struggles.

“They’ve got to take turns on who handles the ball, who’s not handling the ball,” Marion said. “[James is] one of their primary ball handlers. When he’s not handling the ball, he’s not in the play.”

Stevenson agreed. “If you have a player like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh and they have it going, you tend to defer… You go back and look at film and TV, you can kind of see he’s deferring.”

The player who came to James’ defense more than any other, surprisingly, was Mavericks guard Jason Terry, who questioned James’ defense earlier this week. Terry said on Tuesday that James can dominate a game even without scoring and seemed to imply that the criticism of James' Game 4 performance was overkill.

“Pick your poison,” Terry said of James as a scorer or as a facilitator. “Him getting a triple double, that will help them. They’ll win the game. He almost had one last night, and they almost won the game. LeBron is unique. He’s a unique character. If you want to categorize him as just a scorer, you’re doing it all wrong. He’s like Magic. He’s a guy who can affect a game without scoring 30, 40 points. He can get it done on both ends.”

Terry did get in one subtle dig, though.

"I don't really care what to expect from him [in Game 5],“ Terry said.

In other words, this series won’t be decided by James alone.

Stevenson and Marion, despite the trash talking throughout the week and during games -- which Stevenson calls "jaw-jacking" -- did make an outward attempt to distance themselves from the back-and-forth.

“Great players just need a little thing to get it going,” Stevenson said. “You don’t want to say anything bad or anything, but he’s talented enough to use anything in the paper to boost his ego.”

“Y’all gonna gas up anything we say regardless,” said Marion said just hours after Deadspin.com posted a video of him scoring on James and directing a taunt at him. “I don’t get into that talking smack. We’re competitors, and we’ve got respect for each other.”

At the eye of the storm, James said he’s trying to tune everything out, including the media reaction to the worst game of his playoff career.  

“I haven't read anything that was written,” James said. “I didn't play well, especially offensively. I know that. I've got to do a better job of helping this team win basketball games, especially late, no matter what it is.” 

Besides, James said he doesn't need to listen to others criticize him. He is already doing that to himself.

“Eight points is definitely inexcusable for myself,” James said. “I hold myself up to a higher standard. I had to do a better job of putting myself in situations where I can benefit myself and my team, no matter how many minutes I'm out on the floor.

“I was hard on myself all last night,” James said. “Anytime I feel like I could have played better and the team loses, that's what it's all about. If I have a bad game and we win, I'm hard on myself, but at the end of the day we win the basketball game. That's ultimately what it's all about. When we lose and I don't play well and I feel like I could have did one or two more things to help our team win or get over the hump, you're definitely hard on yourself.  That's just me. That's just the make‑up of who I am.”         

After four games of this NBA Finals, hours of talk, and thousands of words, we couldn't have less of an idea of who James is. His demeanor, his play and his confidence all fluctuate by the day.

We'll see which James shows up to Game 5 on Thursday night.

Comments

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:47 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Mark my words...  In six years, Lebron will be the best to ever play the game.  MJ a distant memory....a has been.
I take my comment in my prior post back -- THIS is the most unintelligent post I've read on this board in some time.

You do realize -- If you look at the 1st 8 years of their career, it isn't even close to being comparable?  Jordan in a landslide.  On top of that -- Jordan already had 3 NBA titles by his 8th year in the league.



Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:44 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Lebron >>>>  MJ... MJ a distant memory....a has been.
Even if I agreed with your ENTIRE post, the end erased all credibility of any further MJ/Lebron talk you may have.  Unless every single person passes away who was born from the early 80s on back, I dont think MJ will be a distant memory in 6 years.  Debate Lebron/MJ all you want, but dont make ridiculous comments.  Let Lebron win atleast 3 rings (and thats being generous considering how many the alltime greats MJ/Magic/Russell/Bryant to name a few has) before ANY talks about him being the greatest of anything.



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:42 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

You must be a youngster, because nobody could be that dumb. All the games you listed were regular season games and least he could have scored in any of those games is 16 points. Since you are a stat hound list the assist and rebounds for those games as well. Jordan as a shooting guard shot 50% from the field for his career. Keep in mind that includes the 2 funky years he played with the Wizards. He averaged over 6 rebounds over 5 assist and over 2 steals per game for his career. And if you take stats out it and were actually around to watch them both play then you would know. Lebron came to Miami to be Scottie Pippen but Wade is playing the Jordan role while Lebron is playing the BJ Armstrong role.




Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:41 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Did MJ ever have a TD in a playoff game?  He had two in his entire playoff career, 28 in regular season. Lebron has already surpassed him with 6 in playoffs and already matched him with 28 regular season.  There is more to Lebron than scoring.  That is why MJ comparison is foolish.  Magic comparison is more appropriate.  Pippen is appropriate when talking defense...as Lebron is ions better than MJ ever was.  Even Pippen knows this.
whoosh,

that might be one of the most unintelligent statements I've read on these boards in some time.  making comments about MJ's defense and saying Lebron is ions better is humorous.

a few facts for you:

MJ
1988 All-Defensive 1st team
1989 All-Defensive 1st team
1990 All-Defensive 1st team
1991 All-Defensive 1st team
1992 All-Defensive 1st team
1993 All-Defensive 1st team
1994 Left to play baseball
1995 Left to play baseball
1996 All-Defensive 1st team
1997 All-Defensive 1st team
1998 All-Defensive 1st team

1988 Defensive Player of the Year

Led the NBA in Total Steals and Steals per game 4 times.

#2 all-time in Career steals

#3 all-time in Career steals per game

#2 all-time in steals in the playoffs

Oh yeah -- he also threw in 10 scoring titles, 6 finals MVPs, 5 league MVPs, 3 All-Star game MVPs, 11 All-NBA 1st teams, 14 All-Star games, 4 steals titles.  He also has the highest career scoring average in NBA history at 30.12 and the highest career playoff scoring average at 33.45.

The reason you can't compare Jordan and Lebron has nothing to do with how they play -- It is because no one had more heart than Jordan and he refused to let his teams lose.  Lebron doesn't have that and it isn't something you can teach.  Wade has it though.  The biggest difference between the two -- A killer instinct.  Jordan didn't just want to beat you -- he wanted to step on your throat after beating you.  That is another thing you can't teach, and Lebron has shown he doesn't have it in him.

Great player -- unbelievable skill set, but lacks the intangibles other all-time greats have.



Since: Oct 22, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:41 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

When James plays hard every night, doesn't take plays off, then you can start comparisons with Jordan. Part of what defines a great player is that they dont quit, and they dont take plays off especially in the playoffs. the Heat could easily have swept this series and last night James took the 4th quarter off. Sure  he isnt worried about Stevenson calling him out but perhaps Bosh calling him out should catch his attention. Dwayne Wade was doing everything he could last night and James just stood around and watched. Kind of what james complianed about in Cleveland where his teammates just cleared out and watched. James cried about that and now of all places in the NBA finals he does exactly that. james is a great player but he needs to mentally be great as well. Time will tell. In reference to earlier posts, who cares about triple doubles. Individual stats dont win championships



Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:35 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Are you a joke?  Do you realize that every single year in which you point out that Jordan had a bad individual "game" he won the Championship???  Hmm...I would take a 10/30 every time if it led to a championship!!!  Wouldn't you???

LeBron doesn't learn from his mistakes.  He is all talent and no heart.  Jordan was an assassin!!!  6 for 6, son! 



Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:25 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

"MJ a distant memory....a has been."

     What a joke.   Your analysis is nice. While it may be true that LJ will be better than MJ one day, Michael Jordan changed the game forever.  There would be no LeBron James.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:21 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

I just call him Big Baby James.



Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:15 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Did MJ ever have a TD in a playoff game?  He had two in his entire playoff career, 28 in regular season. Lebron has already surpassed him with 6 in playoffs and already matched him with 28 regular season.  There is more to Lebron than scoring.  That is why MJ comparison is foolish.  Magic comparison is more appropriate.  Pippen is appropriate when talking defense...as Lebron is ions better than MJ ever was.  Even Pippen knows this.

CAN YOU SAY BRICK?

Jordan's greatest hits:

1998-02-25 CHI vs POR 9/26 .346 FG%

1996-04-07 CHI@ORL 10/30 .333 FG%

1996-02-15 CHI@DET 10/30 .333 FG%

1996-12-17 CHIvsLAL 10/32 .313 FG%

1997-11-03 CHI SAS 12/39 .308 FG%

1995-12-06 CHIvsNYK 8/27 .296 FG%

In all these games, Jordan shot more poor than Lebron did last nite.  And in every game, he didn't have 9 rebounds and 8 assists.  I'm sure if Lebron continued to jack it up instead of passing off to his teammates, he'd have more than 8 points.

Casual fans do not see much more than offense and points in basketball.  True fans realize there is alot more to the game than scoring.  Dwade doesn't know this...but Lebron does.  Media loves to hate on Lebron and so do alot of fans...but at least make an argument worth more than spit.  Huh...

But here is the thing...  Lebron wasn't happy with his performance.  He feels he should have done more.   He is taking full blame (unlike DWade in Game 2 loss...or even DWade takin any blame in Game 4 loss).....   That is also something MJ never did.

Lebron >>>>  MJ   (he doesn't have the rings to show it yet....but he will....maybe not six; but enough to be the greatest of all time)

Mark my words...  In six years, Lebron will be the best to ever play the game.  MJ a distant memory....a has been.





Since: Jul 5, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:14 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

@Crunch-Time: 19 pts. is not comparable to 8 pts. with zero in the 4th. And this isn't the first "big egg" by Lebron. He's made enough for a very large omelette.


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